ASH 2013: Adcetris Performs Well Against B-cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma


A research team led by physicians from Dana-Farber Cancer Center are seeing surprising success using the antibody drug conjugate Adcetris against B-cell lymphomas.

In an open-label and ongoing study, researchers recruited more than 60 patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, with the majority having been diagnosed with the most commonly diagnosed B-cell NHL, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Examining response rate

Among those DLBCL patients, a total of 40 percent had an objective response to the antibody drug conjugate, which is currently only approved for treatment against Hodgkin's lymphoma and anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma. The DLBCL patients had a median duration of 36 weeks; seven of them experienced complete remissions while 10 had partial responses.

These results were surprising since Adcetris works by seeking out the CD30 protein on the cell surface. This protein is only expressed in B-cell tumors about one-third of the time.

Furthermore, investigators discovered that Adcetris appeared to show greater activity in those patients whose tumor only weakly expressed the CD30 protein, which ran counter to all expectations.

Although investigators offered a few hypotheses, they could not explain it.

Source: ASH 2013


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